SAN JOSE, Costa Rica -- Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio said the 1-1 tie against Costa Rica in Estadio Nacional on Tuesday was a fair result, but lamented his team's inability to hold onto the lead in the World Cup qualifying game.
Mexico went ahead in the 42nd minute when Cristian Gamboa inadvertently put the ball into his own net after an amazing Keylor Navas save, but Marcos Urena equalized with eight minutes to go to rescue a point for Los Ticos, who went close to winning with seconds left when Johan Venegas hit the post.
"We're left with a bad taste," said Osorio in the postgame news conference. "We thought we had the game controlled."
The Colombian pointed to Jesus "Tecatito" Corona's one-on-one opportunity with Navas to make it 2-0 in the second half as one of the culprits for the dropped points.
Nonetheless, the result keeps Mexico firmly in first place in the Hexagonal table, maintaining the three point gap above Costa Rica and knowing they've already qualified for Russia.
"[We have to be] more effective, above all when we are up and can extend the lead," Osorio said. "Today we had an opportunity, the same as against Panama [in last Friday's 1-0 victory]. We will work on it."
Benfica striker Raul Jimenez impressed for Mexico and was happy with El Tri's overall display, although he thought it was an opportunity missed to extend the lead in the group above Costa Rica.
"The whole team played a great game," said Jimenez after the match. "The result is a little bit sour because we would've secured first place with a win, but we played well."
Jonathan dos Santos stressed the Mexican side is still in a work in progress and can get better.
"This team keeps growing, we can go toe-to-toe with anyone and what's most valuable is the confidence," said the younger Dos Santos brother.
Mexico closes World Cup qualifying against Trinidad & Tobago at home and Honduras away in October.